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Wasatch_One Jun 12, 2007 9:42 PM

PROVO, UT: Official Development News Thread
I know we have a Utah Valley development thread here on the board which encompasses Provo, but....

with Provo being the largest city and hub of the metro, I feel it should have its own specific thread for developments especially with all of the buzz that is happening downtown as of late.

I live in Provo currently and have done so since the early 90's when I was a teen. I have seen big changes not only from a development standpoint but also and increasingly more diverse social standpoint (aside form the stereotypes associated with it.)

Here are some brief facts:

Population: 115,135 city and 480,000+ metro (2006 Census Bureau estimate)
The metro is the 6th fastest growing metro in the US since the 2000 census with a 26% increase during the first 6 years of this decade.
Provo is the county seat of Utah County
Founded in 1849

Generally lies between 4,500' - 5,400'+ (Provo Peak actually lies within city limits at 11,068')
Situated between Utah Lake on the west and the steep escarpment of the Wasatch Front which towers over 7,400 above the valley floor on the east.
20" annual precipitation with 60+" of snow.

Major employers:
Brigham Young University - 18,000+ employees
Utah Valley Regional Medical Ctr. - 2,600+
Novell - 1,750+ employees
NuSkin - 900+ employees
Generations Network - 500+ employees
Tahitian Noni Intl. - 500+ employees

Provo has 6 main areas of development which include:

1. Downtown
2. BYU Campus
3. East Bay
4. Riverwoods
5. Airport
6. Ironton

A little on each area:

Despite what I generally read of peoples perceptions here on the board, Provo's downtown is probably one of the three most classic examples of a downtown that Utah has to offer (SLC and Ogden being the other two.)

Up until the late 60's-early 70's, this is where everything in Utah County happened. Then Provo faced the big decision that most US cities had to make dealing with a downtown mall, or no mall.

SLC and Ogden went ahead with it, Provo didn't. Following this decision the University Mall was built in the early 70's in Orem (Provo's suburban neighbor about 4 miles NW of downtown) and the years of neglect began in which downtown Provo was no longer the retail/business/social focal point of the county.

Provo city leaders have been trying hard since the mid 80's to help downtown regain its former glory, but it was pretty rough. The 9 story Provo Marriott was built around 1988 under its former name (Excelsior and Provo Park Hotel.) NuSkin built their 10 story glass HQ about 1990. Novell built thier 8 story 380,000 sq ft "Building H" in 2000 in Provo's East Bay district.

Provo city then renovated the old Brigham Young Academy building (originally built in the 1880's) into their new library in 2002. Wells Fargo in turn built their 7 story central Utah HQ/mixed use building in 2005. This most recent project seemed to create what Provo city leaders have been longing for, a reason to come downtown again.

Interest in the area has been building even more with a new Center for the Arts which will be completed this year (2007) and a couple of new low-rise 4-story condo projects within a couple of blocks of the city's core.

Currently there are as many as 3 potential 10+ story mixed use buildings and multiple multi-unit housing projects proposed or in the planning stages. Provo is finally in-line to get a skyline to match what its nearly half-million person metro population would indicate.

-BYU Campus
Lies north and east of downtown about one mile and has seen a large number of new projects in the past 4 years

-East Bay
Is named this because of its location immediately east of Utah Lake's Provo Bay. It's located about a mile south of downtown along University Ave.

Is a mixed use zone located about 5 miles north of downtown at the mouth of Provo Canyon. This is one of the reasons that downtown has not seen a large office building proposed in quite some time. It is probably Provo's largest office park (I personally despise this area.)

Is located about 4 miles west of downtown. Provo city just built a control tower to eventually accomodate commercial air travel.

As its name indicates, it's mainly industrial and lies about 3 miles south and east of downtown near Springville's northern edge.

Wasatch_One Jun 12, 2007 9:44 PM

Recently completed and proposed projects:

Obviously this project, tenatively named "University Tower" (kind of generic and cheezy if you ask me... I hope it changes names before its done) is our big boy for now.

Annonced in August of 2007, the Zions Bank Financial Center will be another 10 story building built in the core of the city. This will be very interesting to see how this and the University Tower affect downtowns vibrancy. The ZB FC alone will bring about 400 office jobs to downtown Provo.

At the same time as the University Tower was announced, 2 low-rise 4 story retail/residential buildings were announced along Center St.

The Huntington, Provo

Was announced about two years ago and has finally broken ground in downtown about 2 blocks south of the proposed University Tower. 61 Units.

The same developer who is doing the Huntington is also developing Freedom Point on Freedom Blvd and 2nd north. 32 Units

Joaquin Village (Student Housing)
• Floors — 5
• Apartments — 238
• Students — 952
• Parking spaces — 720
• Height — 55 feet
• Square feet — 592,546
• Acres — 5

Alpine Village (Student Housing_

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center expansion

Provo Center for the Performing Arts

Provo has been ranked highly recently by many magazines

INC magazine
Hottest Industries: Information, Wholesale
2007 Rank in Category: 7
2007 Overall Rank: 31
2006 Rank in Category: 9
2006 Overall Rank: 40
Growth in Nonfarm Jobs 2005-2006: 4.6%
Growth in Nonfarm Jobs 2001-2006: 15.2%

List of top 20

1. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
2. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
3. Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, Fla.
4. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.
5. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.
6. Lakeland, Fla.
7. Provo-Orem, Utah
8. Reno-Sparks, Nev.
9. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
10. Savannah, Ga.

Some Pictures from around Downtown Provo

***I am in the process of compiling this information, check back in a bit to see.

DevdogAZ Jun 13, 2007 2:50 AM

Great thread, Wasatch. I'll definitely be checking in regularly to see how things are progressing.

jimthemanincda Jun 13, 2007 3:24 AM

Looks like a nice start to this thread. Thanks for all the info.

poodledoodledude Jun 13, 2007 5:38 AM

LOVE the thread!!
dude, i LOVE this thread....way cool... i'll be an active participant as much as i can on this one.



Wasatch_One Jun 13, 2007 6:50 AM

I got out and snapped a few pics today...

Where one of the residential buildings will be built on this surface lot

..the other will go in this slot and the building on the left side of it will be renovated

This building in the foreground will be torn down to make way for the University Tower

The new Gordon B. Hinkley building being built at BYU's entrance

The Huntington has broken ground

The old Hotel Roberts property with plans for a possible high-rise in the not so distant future

This old automotive building will be torn down for Freedom Point

Alpine Village, a HUGE student complex going in west of BYU

Poodledoodledude mentioned possible expansion of the 4th district court on the north side

Phase I of the Arbors on the Avenue (there will be an even larger building south of this) 120 units total

Happy Valley Freak Jun 13, 2007 8:56 AM

wow, looks like there's been more going on in provo than I thought!, YAY!

delts145 Jun 13, 2007 12:30 PM

Excellent thread Wasatch,

I think Provo and Utah Valley has an incredible future. The sheer beauty of it's surroundings are among the most attractive of any city in the U.S.

Utaaah! Jun 13, 2007 1:10 PM

Bienvenue, Delts! It's good to have you back on the board. I've missed your insightful commentary.

I agree that Provo has a bright future. It occupies a truly beautiful location between the mountains and the lake, offering countless recreational opportunities. It also has two outstanding universities close by, bringing cultural and sporting entertainment, research dollars, and a youthful vitality to the metro. I may have ended up there myself if the U hadn't bought my allegiance with a more lucrative scholarship offer.

jedikermit Jun 13, 2007 1:43 PM

Maybe this thread will help me appreciate Provo more. I honestly don't know the difference between Orem and Provo and all of the other Utah County communities. Nice thread, interesting projects. Can't wait to see what Zions Bank has up its sleeve. Hopefully a new Tallest, eh?

jedikermit Jun 13, 2007 1:43 PM

(Tallest for Provo, not for the whole state. That would just piss me off.)

wrendog Jun 13, 2007 2:47 PM

nice pics nic.. Hotel Roberts is gone, eh..

I think people can see from those pics that Provo downtown isn't that bad and is waaaaaay better than Logan or St. George as someone compared Provo to earlier. Comparing Provo to Orem is like comparing SLC to South Jordan.

jedikermit Jun 13, 2007 3:18 PM

I guess my problem is with the whole sprawly nature of the area. And that's not unique to Utah County. But there's really nothing that makes a statement in Provo. Getting some height and more density in there might do that for me.

And yeah, South Jordan might have that same problem.

Makid Jun 13, 2007 3:43 PM

Welcome back Delts :)

I love all of the development in the Provo downtown area. I do hope that Zions builds a 12 to 15 story tower as a sign of Provo's growth.

poodledoodledude Jun 13, 2007 4:46 PM

well, i've read all through what you guys think and i'll have to agree that provo would look a lot bigger if we had bigger buildings.

but, you have to start somewhere...and with the new university tower going in, the zions building going in, and another develper going in, i think we are well on our way.

also, i watched the news conference about the university tower going in and REMS LLC said they are interested in

"helping to improve the skyline above provo and are looking at land to facilitate that at the present time."

so, yes, i think within the next few years, provo is going UP, which is cool!


wrendog Jun 13, 2007 4:57 PM

I have a friend in the know, but he can't give me details, but he said be prepared for even more in the coming months including a possible new tallest.

Wasatch_One Jun 13, 2007 5:19 PM


Originally Posted by jedikermit (Post 2894556)
I guess my problem is with the whole sprawly nature of the area. And that's not unique to Utah County. But there's really nothing that makes a statement in Provo. Getting some height and more density in there might do that for me.

And yeah, South Jordan might have that same problem.

Provo's problem (and Utah Valley for that matter) is that there has been an abundance of cheap land for such a long time that the county has sprawled in all directions because its easier to develop on vacant land than tear something down and build there...

Times have changed, its hard to find open land in either Orem or Provo now-a-days.

Jedikermit, my guess is you mistake Orem with Provo, cause yes, Orem is a sprawling mess without any real identity. You cant pinpoint where their "downtown" is. Its basically to Provo what West Valley City is to Salt Lake.

Provo is different, has history and character and I think the next 5 or so years will make an even more marked change to differentiate it as the the county business center.

These small municipalities like P.G. and Lehi that continue to nip at its heels, taking projects out to the suburbs have finally caused Provo's leaders wake-up a bit (keeping fingers crossed.)

wrendog Jun 13, 2007 5:45 PM

It's true.. you don't really see provo if you are driving through on I-15. Most of what you see is Orem. Provo is up agains the mountains..

poodledoodledude Jun 13, 2007 8:41 PM


Originally Posted by wrendog (Post 2894727)
I have a friend in the know, but he can't give me details, but he said be prepared for even more in the coming months including a possible new tallest.

wouldn't this be nice?!?!? i would LOVE to see a 12-15 story building in provo!! it seems like we get 10's and lower...never managing to get one taller. i know the kimball tower is 12, but for some reason it is hard for me to count that one because it is not in downtown provo, and it's on BYU campus....

let's hope provo does get a little skyline going on....:banana:


I-15 Jun 13, 2007 11:33 PM

Nice pics Wasatch!

The new Hinkley building at BYU looks pretty cool actually. It sure went up fast.

The scenery surrounding Provo is spectacular.
Now hopefully Provo can develop a skyline to complement it.

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